4:05 p.m. PT at Boston
Bulls +7½ at Celtics (199½)
Four games with two going into overtime set the stage for what has become a best of 3 series. Chicago evened things at 2-2 with a 121-118 double overtime victory at the United Center last Sunday. Tonight the scene shifts to TD Banknorth Garden as the defending champion Celtics need to protect home court or face a possible elimination game in Chicago.
Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics defense is a shell of last year. Derrick Rose and Ben Gordon have each had their way and more than match up with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. The loss of Leon Powe has further taxed the Boston bench, which may have also swung the edge to Chicago in depth. Boston showed character with a 21-point win in Game 3, but we think the Bulls won’t repeat that effort. The intimidation factor is gone without Garnett, evidenced by Chicago’s two strong showings in Boston. BULLS.
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